Emulsifiers for Emulsified Body Scrubs

What sort of emulsifiers can I use in an emulsified body scrub? Do they have to be w/o?

I made an emulsified body scrub with e wax nf and wasn't really pleased with the outcome so I would like to know what other emulsifier options are available to me. It may be that I can use e wax nf but just need to play with the inclusions but I would still like to know what other options are available to me.

Would they be similar to an emulsifier I would use in a emulsifying facial cleansing balm or an emulsifying facial cleansing oil? In the sense that they are all anhydrous products I mean.

Thank you all.


  • PerryPerry Administrator, Professional Chemist
    Your question can't be answered adequately unless you share all the ingredients in your formula. For example you may not even need an emulsifier.
  • ngarayeva001ngarayeva001 Member
    edited February 2019
    They don’t have to be W/O. Any generic emulsifier like Polawax should  work because the purpose of emulsifier in such a product is to help water to rinse the oil off. But as Perry mentioned it’s impossible to give a reasonable answer without seeing a formula. My only unintelligent guess is that you are not using enough emulsifier.
  • My formula is:

    Shea butter 5%
    Cocoa butter 4%
    Carrier oil 45%
    E-wax NF 5%
    Cetyl alcohol 5%
    Salt 35%
    Preservative 1%

  • You've got a 12:1 ratio between lipids and emulsifier! That will never work.
    Cosmetic Brand Creation. Concept to name to IMPI search to logo and brand registration. In-house graphic design inc. Pantone specs. Cosmetic label and box design & graphics.
  • @Belassi Thank you for your input. You're right. It is 12:1. I've read that the recommended usage levels are 2-10%, usually 4-5% for lotions and 7-8% for creams.

    What % do you suggest I start with for my body scrub? Also, can I use other emulsifiers like Xyliance or Olivem 1000?
  • I've no idea what E-Wax NF is -- it sounds like one of those mixtures sold by a hobby site -- but I suggest you try a ratio of 3:1 and if that works, find the point at which it doesn't, then back up a little. Also, the 35% of salt is going to greatly complicate things.
    Cosmetic Brand Creation. Concept to name to IMPI search to logo and brand registration. In-house graphic design inc. Pantone specs. Cosmetic label and box design & graphics.
  • @Belassi It is exactly that-a hobbyist's emulsifier. The INCI is cetearyl alcohol and polysorbate 60. Alright, I will try with the ration you suggested. Thank you for that.

    Regarding the salt complicating things- from what aspect? In terms of preservation? 

    Thank you for your help. I really appreciate it.
  • ozgirlozgirl Member, PCF student
    I would recommend subscribing to Swiftcraftmonkey's blog (http://swiftcraftymonkey.blog/blog) as she has lots of formulas for emulsified sugar scrubs with different emulsifiers. Generally I think most oil in water emulsifiers can be used in these products you just need to give it a try.

    In these types of scrubs you do not actually make an emulsion because there is no water in the formula instead the emulsifier is present to help with the rinse off of the oils (it may emulsify some of the oils at the point it is washed off with water).

    Hope this helps :)

  • ngarayeva001ngarayeva001 Member
    edited February 2019
    You are waisting materals. Up cetyl alcohol to 20-25% and 15% of emulsifier will be enough. Cetyl is coemulsifier. I make a generic scrub for personal use with 20% of stearic acid, 10% of cetearyl alcohol,  5% of PEG-40 HCO and 10% of some diy emulsifier (because I don’t want to waste good materials on this product). Oils qs. Work well.
  • Why use 35% of salts ? It is at least ratio 1:1
    the idea using emulsified scrubs is that when scrubs touched water the emulsion takes place giving nice feels for the skin
  • If you put sweet orange essentials oils you will have nice smell 
  • @ozgirl Thank you for your suggestions. I have subscribed to her blog now and have decided to give Olivem 1000 a try first. 
  • @Dtdang Thanks for your input. So, I take it I need to use a lot more salts. I am going to keep trying with the ratios. Once I get the formula and consistency right I will then have a play with the essential oils. Thanks again!
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